Readers of this blog know “Coach” Dave Daubenmire best as the rabidly anti-gay Religious Right activist and full-blown conspiracy theorist who is perfectly willing to defend the infamous “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church while declaring that not allowing Christians to bully gays is itself a form of bullying against Christians.
But what a lot of people may not know is that the “Coach” in his name is quite literal, as he is also a high school football coach … or at least he has been in the past, since he has been fired several times from previous coaching positions.
Given his tendency to get fired, Daubenmire is currently available for hire and, amazingly, he is now the finalist for a head coaching position at a public high school in Ohio:
Lakewood school board members will vote on a new football coach tonight, but no matter how they cast their ballots, people are likely to be upset.
There have been strong opinions on both sides ever since it was announced that outspoken minister, radio host and motivational speaker Dave Daubenmire was in the running. Tonight, Lakewood Superintendent Jay Gault will recommend hiring Daubenmire; it’s then up to board of education members to decide yes or no, Gault said.
If hired, Daubenmire would be paid $5,520 for the 2014-15 school year.
Daubenmire is the founder of Pass the Salt, a ministry dedicated to bringing together Christians to be the salt and light of the world, as is stated in the Book of Matthew. He is also a 1971 Lakewood High School graduate, but he is perhaps best known for his time coaching at London High School, where the American Civil Liberties Union accused him of mixing religion with teaching and coaching.
Daubenmire also was head football coach at Heath High School from 1981 to 1988 and, more recently, at Fairfield Christian Academy.
The Lakewood job opened up after coach Rex Sponhaltz retired after going 1-9 this past season. News that Daubenmire might take Sponhaltz’ place sparked an online petition titled “Do NOT hire Dave Daubenmire.”
The petition labels Daubenmire as “a man so obsessed with a domineering vision of masculinity that he encourages bullying, particularly when it is directed at homosexuals.” As of Tuesday night, it had 4,605 supporters.
Daubenmire could not be reached Tuesday for comment, but in a previous statement to The Advocate, he wrote that his critics are misrepresenting his stances, and his personal beliefs shouldn’t disqualify him from a coaching position.
“I have been a vocal defender of Christian values which has caused some to take offense at my positions,” he wrote. “But those positions were expressed as a minister not as a public school football coach.”
Daubenmire said he respects individual liberty and the right of students to be free from “coercion in their personal lives.”
“No one understands better than me what can and cannot be done in my position as football coach at a public high school and I will not cross that line,” he wrote.
The people making this decision really ought to watch some of Daubenmire’s videos – not necessarily the ones of him calling for the banning of pornography, but the ones where he lays out his coaching philosophy, such as how he hates dealing with the whiny mothers of his players who are worried about injuries and safety because it is his job to turn his players into manly men and teach them all of just “suck it up!“
UPDATE: The Lakewood School Board voted 3-2 not to hire Daubenmire:
It appears that the two great passions of Dave Daubenmire’s life — coaching and preaching — are incompatible, at least to three of the five board members of Lakewood Local Schools.
The board voted 3-2 tonight to reject Superintendent Jay Gault’s recommendation to hire the controversial Daubenmire as Lakewood High School’s head football coach.